Mentoring...

10 Jan 2006 - 2:33pm
8 years ago
7 replies
345 reads
ldebett
2004

This brings up an interesting point:

On 1/10/06, Natalie Buda <nbuda at navigationarts.com> wrote:

>
> I believe the best way for an entry-level designer to have successful
> experiences is to be flexible, explorative, and try finding a good mentor.
>

In our discipline - one that is very trial-by-fire, on-the-job-training,
etc., and also very young, mentoring is a great way to grow and learn. So,
how do entry-level designers (mid and senior as well) find good mentors?
Additionally, what makes a good mentor and where would one find a good
mentor?

~Lisa

Comments

10 Jan 2006 - 2:59pm
Austin Govella
2004

On 1/10/06, Lisa deBettencourt <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:
> how do entry-level designers (mid and senior as well) find good mentors?
> Additionally, what makes a good mentor and where would one find a good
> mentor?

The IA Institute is a great model for a low-key, flexible, and very
successful mentoring program.

Mentors volunteer and fill out a survey that guages the areas they're
interested/qualified to mentor in.

Mentees sign up and fill out a survey that guages the areas they'd
liek tbe mentored in.

An IAI volunteer (the mentat) matches up mentors with mentees. How
the mentoring works is entirely up to the people involved. It can be
more formal, or more casual. You can have one on one mentoring, or
mentoring in groups. Do everything by email, or use IM, or even use
the phone.

At last years IA summit, several mentor/mentee teams met in person and
did some more menting. Everyone I've talked to has had a great
experience and feels it was successful.

I think IxD needs something similar, and I volunteer David to helm it. :-P

Seriously, though... volunteer? I can even point you to the IAI mentor
staff so you can get some insight into what works and what doesn't.

--
Austin Govella
Thinking & Making: IA, UX, and IxD
http://thinkingandmaking.com
austin.govella at gmail.com

10 Jan 2006 - 3:14pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Hi Austin,

Wow! That's great. I know that IAI offers this program but didn't know it
was going so successfully. That's wonderful!

As for IxDA and you volunteering me ... HA! Back at ya! ... ;)

Seriously though, I think that I would even take it further. I would like to
encourage larger institutions to make mentor/apprentice models part of their
jr. staff recruiting offering. Put a Sr. level designer (not
management/director level) w/ a jr. level designer. This one-on-one
management style is a good entry to management for the sr. level designer
(who has a mentor at the director/manager level) and the jr. level person
has a mentor. This follows the medical model of an attending mentoring a
resident who mentors an intern who mentors a med school student.

I'd also like to offer even less formal means of getting mentorship:
1. Volunteer with a design org -- say IxDA
2. Choose what you do but who you would work with, not necessarily your
strengths
3. It is incumbent on the lower level person to make all this happen.
4. build a relationship with that person

This is the approach I have taken over the last few years. What is so great
about it is that while I have a few mentors in my life, they really have
become more like friends and balancing the whole mentor/mentee relationship
with the reality of really being peers is something a lot easier to do in
this type of less formal format.

-- dave

On 1/10/06 2:59 PM, "Austin Govella" <austin.govella at gmail.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> On 1/10/06, Lisa deBettencourt <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:
>> how do entry-level designers (mid and senior as well) find good mentors?
>> Additionally, what makes a good mentor and where would one find a good
>> mentor?
>
> The IA Institute is a great model for a low-key, flexible, and very
> successful mentoring program.
>
> Mentors volunteer and fill out a survey that guages the areas they're
> interested/qualified to mentor in.
>
> Mentees sign up and fill out a survey that guages the areas they'd
> liek tbe mentored in.
>
> An IAI volunteer (the mentat) matches up mentors with mentees. How
> the mentoring works is entirely up to the people involved. It can be
> more formal, or more casual. You can have one on one mentoring, or
> mentoring in groups. Do everything by email, or use IM, or even use
> the phone.
>
> At last years IA summit, several mentor/mentee teams met in person and
> did some more menting. Everyone I've talked to has had a great
> experience and feels it was successful.
>
> I think IxD needs something similar, and I volunteer David to helm it. :-P
>
> Seriously, though... volunteer? I can even point you to the IAI mentor
> staff so you can get some insight into what works and what doesn't.
>
>
>
> --
> Austin Govella
> Thinking & Making: IA, UX, and IxD
> http://thinkingandmaking.com
> austin.govella at gmail.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org/
Dave (at) ixdg (dot) org
Dave (at) synapticburn (dot) com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

10 Jan 2006 - 3:24pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

Perhaps we could start an IxDA mentoring program?

-r-

On 1/10/06, Lisa deBettencourt <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> This brings up an interesting point:
>
> On 1/10/06, Natalie Buda <nbuda at navigationarts.com> wrote:
>
> >
> > I believe the best way for an entry-level designer to have successful
> > experiences is to be flexible, explorative, and try finding a good mentor.
> >
>
> In our discipline - one that is very trial-by-fire, on-the-job-training,
> etc., and also very young, mentoring is a great way to grow and learn. So,
> how do entry-level designers (mid and senior as well) find good mentors?
> Additionally, what makes a good mentor and where would one find a good
> mentor?
>
> ~Lisa
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

10 Jan 2006 - 8:28pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

I find it very interesting that this thread stopped dead in its tracks
after I suggested we start a mentoring program. Dost thou 'fend? :)

OK - I'll start. I'd love a mentor. I've been in the web game for
about six years and have done and learned everything I can about IxD,
usability, design, development, etc. But when it comes right down to
it, I've never had "interaction designer" in my job title or
description. I've always been the webmaster, Flash geek, coder, and,
on occasion, the print guy. IxD has always been the most important
thing to me, and I'd like very much to focus completely on IxD,
starting ... well, yesterday. I'm currently looking for jobs in this
area so I can jump right in, the way I always do, and get going.

A mentor would be fantastic. Anyone interested? Dan Saffer? Robert
Reimann? Anyone else? I promise to be a good "mentee" (isn't there a
word for this?).

-r-

On 1/10/06, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <mmbeta at gmail.com> wrote:
> Perhaps we could start an IxDA mentoring program?
>
> -r-
>
>
> On 1/10/06, Lisa deBettencourt <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
> >
> > This brings up an interesting point:
> >
> > On 1/10/06, Natalie Buda <nbuda at navigationarts.com> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > I believe the best way for an entry-level designer to have successful
> > > experiences is to be flexible, explorative, and try finding a good mentor.
> > >
> >
> > In our discipline - one that is very trial-by-fire, on-the-job-training,
> > etc., and also very young, mentoring is a great way to grow and learn. So,
> > how do entry-level designers (mid and senior as well) find good mentors?
> > Additionally, what makes a good mentor and where would one find a good
> > mentor?
> >
> > ~Lisa
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>

10 Jan 2006 - 8:37pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Robert,

I just don't think it works that way. I think it is one thing as you suggest
and as IAI to set up a formal mentorship program. That's great and while it
is currently not now on the front lines of the IxDA's board's attention (we
are so young afterall) it is not out of the question and in general
definitely fits with the idea of building a true community of practice which
is our mission.

But just throwing out a few names and saying what about me in a public list,
doesn't quite jibe very well. Why you? Why anyone who would do that?

It is about building relationships first and foremost if you are going to do
it yourself. Mentoring is not a process, it is a relationship. In most of my
cases it isn't even something formally agreed upon.

Btw, the word you are looking for is apprentice.
Student, apprentice, mentor, master

My question to the world is who are our masters in IxD? Not in UCD, but
specifically in IxD? I have some ideas, but I'd be curious as to what other
people think? What is the role of a master? Of our masters to this
community?

-- dave

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On
> Behalf Of Robert Hoekman, Jr.
> Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:29 PM
> To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Mentoring...
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> quoted material.]
>
> I find it very interesting that this thread stopped dead in its tracks
> after I suggested we start a mentoring program. Dost thou 'fend? :)
>
> OK - I'll start. I'd love a mentor. I've been in the web game for
> about six years and have done and learned everything I can about IxD,
> usability, design, development, etc. But when it comes right down to
> it, I've never had "interaction designer" in my job title or
> description. I've always been the webmaster, Flash geek, coder, and,
> on occasion, the print guy. IxD has always been the most important
> thing to me, and I'd like very much to focus completely on IxD,
> starting ... well, yesterday. I'm currently looking for jobs in this
> area so I can jump right in, the way I always do, and get going.
>
> A mentor would be fantastic. Anyone interested? Dan Saffer? Robert
> Reimann? Anyone else? I promise to be a good "mentee" (isn't there a
> word for this?).
>
> -r-
>
> On 1/10/06, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <mmbeta at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Perhaps we could start an IxDA mentoring program?
> >
> > -r-
> >
> >
> > On 1/10/06, Lisa deBettencourt <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> quoted material.]
> > >
> > > This brings up an interesting point:
> > >
> > > On 1/10/06, Natalie Buda <nbuda at navigationarts.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > > > I believe the best way for an entry-level designer to
> have successful
> > > > experiences is to be flexible, explorative, and try
> finding a good mentor.
> > > >
> > >
> > > In our discipline - one that is very trial-by-fire,
> on-the-job-training,
> > > etc., and also very young, mentoring is a great way to
> grow and learn. So,
> > > how do entry-level designers (mid and senior as well)
> find good mentors?
> > > Additionally, what makes a good mentor and where would
> one find a good
> > > mentor?
> > >
> > > ~Lisa
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> > >
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

10 Jan 2006 - 9:02pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

I agree to the extent that I certainly wouldn't want to partner myself
up with someone I didn't trust and who didn't know and trust me. I
just figured I'd throw out a line and see if anyone would be
interested in exploring the idea.

I would genuinely love to have a mentor relationship as I head into
this world more deeply, and since I dont really know anyone here, and
thusly have not had much opportunity to build such a rlationship, I
figured at least I could get a seed planted. Doesn't hurt to ask.

-r-

On 1/10/06, David Heller <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
> Robert,
>
> I just don't think it works that way. I think it is one thing as you suggest
> and as IAI to set up a formal mentorship program. That's great and while it
> is currently not now on the front lines of the IxDA's board's attention (we
> are so young afterall) it is not out of the question and in general
> definitely fits with the idea of building a true community of practice which
> is our mission.
>
> But just throwing out a few names and saying what about me in a public list,
> doesn't quite jibe very well. Why you? Why anyone who would do that?
>
> It is about building relationships first and foremost if you are going to do
> it yourself. Mentoring is not a process, it is a relationship. In most of my
> cases it isn't even something formally agreed upon.
>
> Btw, the word you are looking for is apprentice.
> Student, apprentice, mentor, master
>
> My question to the world is who are our masters in IxD? Not in UCD, but
> specifically in IxD? I have some ideas, but I'd be curious as to what other
> people think? What is the role of a master? Of our masters to this
> community?
>
> -- dave
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> > [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On
> > Behalf Of Robert Hoekman, Jr.
> > Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:29 PM
> > To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> > Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Mentoring...
> >
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> > quoted material.]
> >
> > I find it very interesting that this thread stopped dead in its tracks
> > after I suggested we start a mentoring program. Dost thou 'fend? :)
> >
> > OK - I'll start. I'd love a mentor. I've been in the web game for
> > about six years and have done and learned everything I can about IxD,
> > usability, design, development, etc. But when it comes right down to
> > it, I've never had "interaction designer" in my job title or
> > description. I've always been the webmaster, Flash geek, coder, and,
> > on occasion, the print guy. IxD has always been the most important
> > thing to me, and I'd like very much to focus completely on IxD,
> > starting ... well, yesterday. I'm currently looking for jobs in this
> > area so I can jump right in, the way I always do, and get going.
> >
> > A mentor would be fantastic. Anyone interested? Dan Saffer? Robert
> > Reimann? Anyone else? I promise to be a good "mentee" (isn't there a
> > word for this?).
> >
> > -r-
> >
> > On 1/10/06, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <mmbeta at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Perhaps we could start an IxDA mentoring program?
> > >
> > > -r-
> > >
> > >
> > > On 1/10/06, Lisa deBettencourt <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> > quoted material.]
> > > >
> > > > This brings up an interesting point:
> > > >
> > > > On 1/10/06, Natalie Buda <nbuda at navigationarts.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > I believe the best way for an entry-level designer to
> > have successful
> > > > > experiences is to be flexible, explorative, and try
> > finding a good mentor.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > In our discipline - one that is very trial-by-fire,
> > on-the-job-training,
> > > > etc., and also very young, mentoring is a great way to
> > grow and learn. So,
> > > > how do entry-level designers (mid and senior as well)
> > find good mentors?
> > > > Additionally, what makes a good mentor and where would
> > one find a good
> > > > mentor?
> > > >
> > > > ~Lisa
> > > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > > > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > > > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > > > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > > > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > > > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > > > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> > > >
> > >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
>

10 Jan 2006 - 9:18pm
ldebett
2004

Robert,

I like your spirit. And I like that you threw it out there.

Why can't it work that way? Why can't it be formal? If it's a relationship,
as Dave says, the two people in it are free to figure it out however they
want to. If they want to make it formal, so be it. If someone responds to
you, good for the both of you. Heck if you decide to put it into a written
contract with start and end dates, all the more power to you.

That being said, the mentor doesn't have to be "known" either. I'm certain
you'll find there are quite a few experienced and amazing people on this
list who are quietly just soaking it all in and who aren't interested in
having a name for themselves. You'll also find that there are people here
who aren't IxDers but who have an interest in it and who would also offer
amazing insights as a mentor. Also, mentoring doesn't have to be *only*
about IxD. It could be about career growth, entrepreneurship, education,
life...

~Lisa

On 1/10/06, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <mmbeta at gmail.com> wrote:

>
> I would genuinely love to have a mentor relationship as I head into
> this world more deeply, and since I dont really know anyone here, and
> thusly have not had much opportunity to build such a rlationship, I
> figured at least I could get a seed planted. Doesn't hurt to ask.
>
> -r-
>

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